A Lakota (Sioux) student dances at the powwow on Chamberlain, South Dakota's St. Joseph's Indian School Campus.

“We no longer hunt buffalo with a bow or live in tipis, but our roots of honor and goodwill remain. While fire purifies and allows new life to begin, water is cleansing and brings us nourishment. Coming from all directions, the wind provides movement.

The powwow also has a purpose. Today we live in a culture of distraction. A place must be kept that pushes back against the distractions. A place that understands the culture because it embraces its individuals…”

St. Joseph’s 39th annual wacipi powwow — was a success! People from across the country gathered on our campus to help hundreds of Lakota (Sioux) children celebrate their Native American culture and heritage. As we look to future celebrations, we thank you for sharing in our work and helping Lakota children in need reach for a brighter future!

Watch our 39th Annual Powwow video HERE.

“The day comes to a close. Many thoughts run through my mind. I think the highest form of thought is gratitude. But silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone… so thank you to those who share this vision.”

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

We have finally had some time to reflect on our 39th Annual Powwow.

What a wonderful few days we had! The festivities began with a bus trip to the Crow Creek and Lower Brule Indian Reservations. I had a chance to meet with donors taking part in the tour to offer a prayer for safe travel before they hit the road. It seems that they all had a great time!

On Thursday evening, St. Joseph’s Indian School had a Meet & Greet. Several staff members and students met with guests to explain the programs offered at St. Joseph’s and answer any questions our visitors had.  We had two of our high school seniors and an alumnae who is currently working at St. Joseph’s share the impact our school has had on their lives.

Friday morning began with the announcement of our powwow  royalty–Eagle Staff bearer Treshawn; Junior Miss St. Joseph’s Aurelia; and Miss St. Joseph’s Frederika.  As our students headed off to class, our guests enjoyed breakfast and tours of the Nagel Business Office to see how our mailings are prepared and how envelopes with donations are handled.

From there, our donors and friends went to the Rec Center to make their own dreamcatcher and attend a demonstration of Native American children’s games.

On Friday afternoon, guests were able to tour the school with some of our students as their tour guides. A great time was had by all; students really enjoyed getting to talk with people from all over the country.

Over 400 guests and friends attended our Tiyospaye Banquet Friday evening. The highlight of the evening– besides the drawing for a star quilt– was the show of hands as to how many were attending their very first powwow.  It seemed that 75-80% of the hands went up! We were so honored that they chose St. Joseph’s as the place to experience their first powwow.

Though Friday was rainy and cool, Saturday dawned clear and pleasant.  Early risers had the chance to visit several of the

Lakota boy dances fancy dance in the powwow.

A St. Joseph’s student dances in the 39th Annual Powwow.

homes on campus to see where our students live.  Prior to the Grand Entry, several of our grass dancers came out to bless the powwow grounds. The Grand Entry began with a presentation of the colors, which all veterans present were invited to take part in.  The veterans in attendance were followed by the royalty from other Native American tribes and entities in the area and the many dancers who had come to take part in the powwow.

It is interesting to note that 102 St. Joseph’s students took part in the various dance categories, which enabled them to win some categories and place in others.  The weather was wonderful, the colors magnificent and the dance moves intricate.  Returning alumni were honored.  Guests were invited to take part in tribal dances which are open to anyone in attendance.

We culminated the day with Mass at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel and a complimentary meal prior to announcing the winners of the dance contests and drum competition.  As things wound down, there were many compliments and ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ over what had taken place that afternoon.

We were honored to have so many guests, dancers, drum groups and staff all interacting in an enjoyable manner to make this one of the best powwows yet!  If you would like to see some of what happened, you can take a look at the video one of our staff members put together.

We were blessed to have great weather on Saturday and we thank you for your prayers to help make that possible.  I’m sure that many of those attending this year are already looking ahead to 2016.  As a quick reminder, St. Joseph’s annual powwow always takes place the third weekend in September.  We look forward to many powwows in the future and hope you can join us!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Laura, Donor Relations Officer

Laura, Donor Relations Officer

Hello from St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota!

My name is Laura and I have been the Donor Relations Officer here at St. Joseph’s for the past fifteen years.

We are reaching my favorite time of year!

St. Joseph’s students are back on campus. They have been in school for a little over a month and are busy with class and extracurricular activities. I am currently busy speaking with donors from all around the United States, sharing information about our upcoming 39th Annual Powwow.

I had the first donors register for the 2015 powwow during the 2014 event! There are now over 400 donors and friends registered to attend our powwow. They will begin arriving next week to take in all of the fun!

During the powwow festivities, I get to reunite with people who come every year. I also meet lots of new people who are visiting St. Joseph’s Indian School for the very first time!

The powwow is definitely a highlight of the school year here at St. Joseph’s, for students and staff alike. Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of work for employees to have campus ready for our visitors, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! Every department on campus pitches in to make the festivities run smoothly .

A Lakota (Sioux) youth dances during St. Joseph's 38th Annual Powwow.

A Lakota (Sioux) youth dances during St. Joseph’s 38th Annual Powwow.

Our 39th Annual Powwow festivities begin on Thursday, September 17 with guest registration, a reservation bus tour, the powwow royalty crowning ceremony and a meet & greet in the evening. at a local motel.

On Friday, guest registration will continue along with cultural activities, tours of the school, cultural performances and our Tiyospaye Banquet.

Prior to Grand Entry on Saturday, there will be tours of students’ homes and an open house at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel. Following the powwow, Mass will be celebrated and dinner is served to everyone in attendance.

If you would like additional information about St. Joseph’s powwow or helpful links in planning your visit , please call 1-800-584-9200 or visit www.stjo.org/powwow. We would love to have you join us!

For those attending, I would like to wish you all a safe trip out to beautiful South Dakota and St. Joseph’s Indian School.

See you soon!


Donor Relations Officer

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good day from St. Joseph’s Indian School! I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day.

The weekend offered a variety of activities for our Lakota students to participate in.  The State Fair was underway in Huron, South Dakota and several homes made the trip over to take part in the fair festivities.  Another option was to attend the LifeLight Festival in the Sioux Falls area, which is a three day event celebrating Christian music.  Several of our staff and high school homes attended.  For the homes that decided to stay close to campus, there was the chance to attend the movie PIXELS at the local theater.

Now that Labor Day is behind us, everyone’s focus has turned to St. Joseph’s 39th Annual Powwow taking place September 17-19.  The dancers have been practicing and are also learning a few new moves.

One of our Native American Studies teachers, LaRayne, attended a recent Kiwanis’ luncheon to share information on the various dances that take place at a powwow.   The Powwow Royalty Competition took place last night and winners will be announced on Friday, September 18.

Two Lakota(Sioux) girls dressed in regalia await their turn.

Two girls anxiously awaiting their turn during last night’s powwow royalty competition!

We are praying that we’ll have good weather for the powwow so that it will be pleasant for everyone.

I hope that you’ll be able to attend the powwow this year.  If you cannot, keep an eye on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+ pages for photos and videos!

May God continue to bless and reward you for your generosity towards St. Joseph’s and the Native American children in our care.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Kelli, Development/Child Services Liaison.

Kelli, Development/Child Services Liaison


My name is Kelli and I am the new Development/Child Services Liaison here at St. Joseph’s Indian School. Although I may be a little biased, I think my job is one of the best jobs around! I get to spend time with the Lakota students and Child Services staff here at St. Joseph’s while still being in touch with our donors through our Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram pages.

In one month, I have already gotten to participate in some pretty amazing things.

On the first day of school for the Lakota students, our Lakota Studies teachers held a smudging ceremony outside of Our Lady of the Sioux chapel. Smudging souls is something that has been done for generations in tribal cultures. Smudging helps to rid a person or area of unwanted energies that aren’t helpful as well as bless new areas, items or places so that a fresh start is felt in the heart.

It was a powerful experience to be present during the smudging ceremony. As students and staff walked through the smoke and washed it over their bodies, they emerged with focus, grace and excitement for the year ahead!

Our Lakota (Sioux) students stand behind the Air & Space Museum sign during their field trip.

Our 5th grade students enjoyed their time at the Air & Space Museum!

Shortly after the beginning of the school year, I was invited to participate in STARBASE activities with our 5th grade students. STARBASE is a program that combines science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with exciting experiments and hands-on activities to motivate students to explore these subjects as they continue their education.

During one project, the students devised ways to protect an egg strapped into a model space shuttle before the shuttles were launched down a wire into a head-on collision. To culminate the week, the 5th graders took a field trip to Rapid City, South Dakota to visit the Air & Space Museum at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Although the air conditioner on our bus did not work on the way back home, a great time was had by all!

In mid-August, St. Joseph’s Indian School started their fall sports practices. I have been enjoying spending my evenings working on volleyball skills with our 6-8th grade girls. Our first game is in about 10 days!

On Tuesday, one of the 6th grade volleyball girls who has been having a little bit of a tough time adjusting asked me if I would join her during Thursday’s cross country practice. As a 6th grader, it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there, so of course I said yes! Since I am not a runner, I would greatly appreciate your prayers and good thoughts today after school!

Thank you for your generosity and support. You are truly making a difference in the lives of the Lakota students here in our care. They are becoming phenomenal young men and women because of YOU!

Kelli Swenson

Development/Child Services Liaison

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

This past Sunday, we held a Lakota Mass on St. Joseph’s campus to celebrate the arrival of our high school students, who started classes with Chamberlain High School on August 26.

We currently have 50 students in the high school program; our enrollment campus-wide is 213 students.

The local public school staff and teachers visited our Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center ahead of the start of their school year. The tour gave the teachers and staff an idea of what to expect when they interact with Native American students living in Chamberlain or coming in from the reservation. The experience also helped the staff to have a better understanding of our high school students’ backgrounds.

A welcome back picnic for our staff and students was held at American Creek park along the Missouri River. There was laughter, kayaking, games, swimming, food and fun galore! Once the sun went down, the good times continued to roll with a bonfire and s’mores.

You may recall I mentioned that our religious community, the Priests of the Sacred Heart from Hales Corners, WI , held an election for a new Provincial and Council due to the election of our previous Provincial (and former Director of St. Joseph’s), Fr. Steve Huffstetter, SCJ, to the General Council in Rome. Our acting Provincial, Fr. Ed Kilianski, SCJ, was elected to take on the leadership role. He will be supported by Frs. Quang Nguyen, SCJ; Duy Nguyen, SCJ; Christianus Hendrik, SCJ; Jack Kurps, SCJ; and Br. Frank Presto, SCJ. We ask that you keep them in prayer that the Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen them as they lead the Province into the future.

A Lakota (Sioux) girl dances fancy shawl at last year's powwow.

Our 2014 Jr. Miss St. Joseph’s dances at last year’s powwow.

Now that we have rolled into September, we can officially say that our annual Powwow is close! Our students are practicing twice a week and our drum group, the Chalk Hills Singers, is also preparing for the event. The Chalk Hills Singers played at Mass on Sunday and 24 dancers took part in the entrance rite.

Our 39th Annual Powwow festivities begin on Thursday, September 17 with guest registration, a reservation bus tour (pre-registration required), the powwow royalty crowning ceremony and a meet and greet with St. Joseph’s alumni.

On Friday, guest registration will continue along with a complimentary breakfast, cultural activities, a tour of the school, cultural performances and our evening Tiyospaye Banquet (pre-registration required).

Prior to the powwow on Saturday, there will be tours of students’ campus homes and an open house at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel. Following the powwow, we will host Mass and provide a complimentary meal before prizes are awarded.

If you would like additional information about our powwow or more information on planning your visit, please call 1-800-584-9200 or visit www.stjo.org/powwow. We would love to have you join us!

May God continue to bless and reward you for your continued support and generosity to the Lakota (Sioux) children.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota!

Summer is ‘officially’ over here in Chamberlain. The new city swimming pool is closed for the year and public school started this week.

Our high school students arrived on Sunday and participated in a two-day orientation program before school began on Wednesday. Our high school volleyball, cross country and football teams all have meets and games this week.

I recently attended the football team’s scrimmage and joined the coaches and players when they came out to St. Joseph’s for a team building meal at the Sheehy Home. It was a great night.

You may recall that I recently mentioned our 4-6 grade students can participate in football with the local team. They had their first practice on Tuesday evening. Our students were very excited to try on their equipment and hit the field. St. Joseph’s is honored to be able to host the practices and games as a way to help our students get to know their peers from the Chamberlain community better.

On Saturday morning, some of our students participated in the Chamberlain Youth Triathlon. They were able to swim, bike and run—all on campus. It was a fun experience for all!

A boy dances during St. Joseph's Annual Powwow.

Our Lakota (Sioux) students enjoy learning about their Native American culture and participating in our annual powwow.

We were scheduled to have an inipisweat lodge—  with our 7-8 grade boys on Saturday afternoon, but the high wind made it too dangerous to have a fire.

Please keep the members of the American Province of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in your prayers this week. Since our former Provincial, Fr. Steve Huffstetter, SCJ, was elected to our General Council in Rome, we are gathering this week to elect a new Provincial and Council. May the Holy Spirit guide our deliberations.

Our students are getting ready for our 39th Annual Powwow on September 19. They have several dance practices scheduled and staff members have been meeting to talk over plans to ensure another successful event. We have even started praying for good weather! We hope you will be able to attend. If you have any questions about the three day event, please feel free to call 1-800-584-9200 or visit www.stjo.org/powwow.

Have a great Thursday. May God’s blessings continue to be with you and yours.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ



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